Ahlberg to take over as OEM manager

Brenda Ahlberg is the new emergency manager for the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

The announcement comes after Ahlberg had been serving as interim emergency manager following Dan Nelson’s departure from the borough last month. Ahlberg previously served as the borough’s manager of community and fiscal projects, but has also worked with the borough’s Office of Emergency Management since 2009.

OEM is the borough department responsible for coordinating response efforts after emergency disasters, like floods, fires, earthquakes and the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the agency has helped coordinate large-scale vaccination clinics.

More recently, Ahlberg and Nelson helped direct the borough’s response to a magnitude 8.2 earthquake, which struck south of the Alaska Peninsula and triggered a tsunami warning for the peninsula’s coastal communities.

Ahlberg has also served as a resource for the Alaska Division of Forestry since 2010 and has helped respond to wildland fires throughout the country as a command staff member for the last 12 years. Ahlberg told the Clarion earlier this year that she is annually requested as a resource for Type 1 fires outside of Alaska, such as the California Interagency Type 1, Team 4 and the National Incident Management Team’s Pacific Northwest Region.

Ahlberg will serve as both emergency manager and as community and fiscal projects manager until a new community and fiscal projects manager is hired, Ahlberg said when announcing she would be taking over OEM.

“I am excited to maintain the long-standing, diverse relationships that I have been so fortunate to be a part of for many years,” Ahlberg said in the announcement.

Multiple people congratulated Ahlberg on her acceptance of the position during the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly’s Sept. 21 meeting, including the borough mayor and assembly president.

“It’s a big job and I just wanted to share with you that she’s off and running,” said Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce.

“We are going to miss you over there at grants … but I couldn’t think of a better person to be where you’re at now today,” said Assembly President Brent Hibbert.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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